As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads globally, it impacts conservation projects and protected areas as governments enact measures to protect their populations. These policies, while crucial for mitigating the spread of COVID-19, are also posing challenges for the establishment and maintenance of protected areas:
- Curfews and movement restrictions limit the ability for rangers to access and patrol protected areas.
- Isolated communities find it harder to access needed food and supplies from regular supply chains and could potentially turn to extracting resources from the forests.
- International travel bans have halted tourism, cutting off a critical source of funding for many protected areas and local communities.
- Government office closures are delaying land purchases and the designation of new protected areas, adding to costs.
- Social distancing restrictions are preventing community consultation critical to creating and managing protected areas.
- The predicted global recession is of concern, particularly for local conservation organizations that are still working on establishing financial sustainability.
In response, Rainforest Trust is creating the COVID-19 Emergency Conservation Fund dedicated to providing immediate assistance to our partners with the most urgent needs. This support will be used exclusively to help partners maintain the staff and operations critical to creating and managing protected areas and help them meet new needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Help our partners on the front lines of conservation during this time of need.